Protocol & Scope of Work
Any reputable contractor will follow a Protocol and/or Scope of Work for decontamination &/or remediation in the event a facility requires such biohazard cleaning service. Protocol and Scope of Work (SOW) are often used interchangeable and may have slightly different cross-industry meanings (examples: Contractors, legal experts, environmental consultants, compliance officials).
Scope of Work (SOW) document is an agreement on the work that a contractor will perform on the project. The SOW should contain any milestones, reports, deliverables, and end products that are expected to be provided by the performing party. The SOW should also contain a time line for all deliverables.
Protocol generally determines how the Scope of Work (SOW) is to be performed. Thus, the SOW details “what” should be done and Protocol details “how” it should be done. The protocol details types of decontamination procedures and techniques that are acceptable. Also, specifics like the products or chemicals that are selected for use. Most often, an environmental consultant, industrial hygienist, or licensed laboratory assembles the protocol. Ideally, under most circumstances, the assembly of the protocol should be created by a third party.
The Scope of Work and Protocol should be specific enough in detail for any reputable, experienced, and qualified management team to complete a through decontamination.
Site-Specific Protocol & Scope of Work
A Protocol and Scope of Work should be created per individual facility. All facilities have unique features that must be addressed in a particular manner. In other words, decontaminating a hospital is different than a school. Further, no two schools are identical and some schools may require additional measures than others. As elementary as that may sounds recall the old adage, “The devil is in the details.” Decontaminating all facilities in the same manner leads to quality control deficiencies and inefficiency of resources.
Hygienist Requirements & Testing
As mentioned previously, using an environmental consultant, hygienist, or qualified party to create a site-specific protocol is well advised. These professionals use environmental monitoring and analytical methods to set the standard for quality required in decontaminating a facility and usually test for effectiveness after a contractor has performed the Scope of Work. Testing for COVID-19 can be done through surface sampling and air sampling.
Disinfectant and Chemical Selection
There are many products available to neutralize COVID-19. A product is not viable for use unless it is EPA registered, which means that product has been proven by a third party for claims of effectiveness. Products used against COVID-19 should be “hospital grade” as per the EPA. Check the EPA website, instead of just entrust hearsay.
Some disinfectants are corrosive and can damage electronics if improperly used or even properly used. Disinfectants that are corrosive or toxic require special protective equipment for applicators. The protective equipment is not only determined by disinfectant choice, but also the delivery system such as: wet fogging, misting, spraying, etc. The different applications produce different OSHA related concerns for applicator safety. Some disinfectants may require a facility to be vacant during application then for a period of time after application. Some facilities, such as hospitals, many never close, thus emplacing containment barriers that eliminates air and particulate matter transitioning freely is necessary.
No Single Approach will Work
No one method of decontamination should be blanketed for all parts of a facility. Different methods and chemicals will be more appropriate for different areas, depending on the structure, it’s inhabitants and the equipment and/or fixtures within.
For example, a buildings common areas and hallways could be easily and effectively treated with Decon 30 (a green product), while the offices with computers, keyboards, servers, etc. may require utilizing Stera Mist, because of the potential damage that added moisture and possible residue can cause to electronics.